The Shmooze

Banned! Israel May Outlaw Weird Names

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel would ban strange names under a bill that was just debated by Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation. It seeks to outlaw parents from giving their newborns highly unusual names.

Current law already authorizes the Interior Minister to refuse to register a name if “it could mislead or offend the public.” The newly proposed law, however, would establish a “Public Names Committee” that would judge whether a name could also be possibly damaging to a child him or herself.

MKs Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Miri Regev (Likud), who co-sponsored the proposal, have suggested that the committee would consist of an educator, a social worker and a psychologist. The idea would be that these people would be able to provide guidance to the Interior Ministry and parents in such cases when a births registry clerk was confronted with a questionable name. “Giving a hurtful and insulting name to a minor, or names of curses or negative figures, could make him an object of mockery in the eyes of his peers and damage his self-image and self-confidence,” the lawmakers were quoted as saying.

Whether or not this proposed law actually passes the Knesset, it’s unclear whether it might be applied to Natalie Portman’s baby, who is named after the Hebrew letter, Aleph. In any case, the 6-month old with the unusual moniker would probably have been grandfathered in.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: names, unusual

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.